Grandma’s Little Tin Can

It ain’t a super car, it was not even a proper car, but it was everything that I wanted, it was small, it was sweet and it was the closest to my heart. There are things in life which you don’t realize the value off and then, there are some which become so close to your heart the moment you know who it’s from. This car became so special to me; it was my grandmothers.

Back in the days, I was quiet, a loner. I was one of those children where, if you put me in a room and gave me some crayons and a pencils, you wouldn't hear from me for nine straight hours. And I was always drawing racing cars and rockets and spaceships and planes, things that were very fast that would take me away. I loved cars and aircrafts and I always drew and drew till I satisfied myself that this was the best I could draw. I was a lonely kid but I loved everything what I did.

My grandmother was a legend in her own ways; she lived in ways I couldn’t even imagine. With a lovely bungalow in the centre of the city, which spread across acres of land, she lived like a queen. Even though much of my life, I wasn’t so connected to my grandmother, the last few years I became very emotionally attached to her. I don’t know how I got there, but it was very special and that is all I know. A grandparent’s love is something very unique and I don’t think no one can explain it better than little children on their grandparent’s lap listening to old stories and receiving all the love and affection from them.

“It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace. When a man's mother holds his child in her gladden arms he is aware of the roundness of life's cycle; of the mystic harmony of life's ways. “ My grandmother was one great cook and nothing can beat the ways she does the duck and the pork curries. And till now no can beat the tastes and the aroma, which comes, out of her kitchen. She lived a good life and in her final years she wanted to see the world, travel far and see the lands beyond her means.  She got herself a car, a sweet little ride; the Maruthi Suzuki 800.

In 2008 after many months of pleading that flying was safe, she finally agreed to come over to meet us in the U.A.E. And once she was here, we had the time of our lives. For once we knew how fun it was to have a grandparent travel on a flight for the first time, make her sit on a SUV and drive across town at 120mph. Take her up on a giant wheel and bring her down on a desert safari. It was so much fun. She loved each and everything and it was so sweet to see her amidst the love and warmth of the family.

Four years on, grandma got sick with illness and slowly her health deteriorated day by day and finally after a prolonged illness she passed away in June 2012. I still remember the day my dad called me up to tell me grandma was no more. I sat there by the window and cried, being far away from home working in a different country, I couldn’t even go to her funeral.  For someone who was a loner like me, I know what it is like to be brought up with unconditional love from someone who was so fond of you. In my life happiness came in different ways, but some of the best were from my grandmother.  She gave me the littlest of things, but the joy they summed  up to was much more greater than the glory of all good things I've received from everyone else.  She loved me so much and she left back something very special for me, it was her car, her sweet little tin can of joy.

I was never fond of the Maruthi 800, it’s a very small, cranky little car with no space nor power. It was a thorough tin can inside out and came with inferior plastic all over it. Any young teenager would never want to drive a car like that. In Chennai it was the time of the Audi’s and the BMW’s, with every street turn, there was a German or an American car streaking the city streets and all I had was this sweet little white tin can parked in front of the house.

I was planning to come home for a week's vacation and I was thinking of visiting friends, meet relatives and spend some quality time with family. When I landed home, I asked dad whether I could take the big SUV, but he denied and said, you can only take grandma’s car and nothing else. I was dejected; I scorned that car. I thought what would people think if I drive this car. Being abroad for so many years, I had enough money to buy splashy cars and here I have to juggle up with this tin can; I so hated the look of it.

But still, I took that old key and pushed it inside the old starter lock opening the door to a dusty little object they called a car. I really don’t know what happened after I sat inside the car. I looked around and it gave a ghostly look with clean leather seats, primitive dashboard and no music player, but just a small AC outlet and a clean round wheel to it and no power steering. I slowly started driving and found that it was no easy job to drive this car around town.

I drove for an hour and I cannot explain how the whole idea of how much I despised this car all changed within a matter of an hour. I was zooming in and out traffic, speeding like a rocket out on the roads. The car was like a mini rocket, that 800 cc squeezed out enough power to ram out of the traffic light even before the next Audi could even shift his gear. Whoa, I was so excited to be in the car that I now had a whole degree of excitement that I was driving what looked like a Maruthi, but deep within it had a the flair of a Ferrari. I looked at the fuel tank needle and even after all that driving up and down the city, it stuck to where I saw it in the morning. I was truly impressed looking at this car, I was singing, laughing, making faces at people passing by, I didn’t really realize what was happening to me and it slowly sunk in that I was driving my grandmothers car. I could slowly feel her love and happiness while I sat there in it. It was as if she was holding me tight and saying how much she loves to make me happy, and the least she could do was to give me something she so treasured; her little sweet car.
I now drive the car with so much happiness and pride. Not even a BMW or an Audi can make my head turn an inch. Sometimes its not about what you have, its really about what it means to you. I know a lot of us love to own things, which we have always dreamt about; but a lot of it goes to love and hearts of people who make it happen for us. My Grandmother never really enjoyed long drives with me, nor did she ever go with me on the driving seat; as much as I loved to take her out, God had other plans. But today as I sit in this little car of hers I could feel her love, I could feel her happiness and most of all I see her with me by my side.

May be she is one with God, but I know somewhere out there, she watches me crisscrossing the city streets in this little tin can of hers and that her loving warm hands are wrapping me with all the love I need.  In her life, she in her own subtle ways as shown me life can be simple and yet happy. You don’t need the mighty riches of the world to make you happy; all you need is a simple little things which can make you beatific and content within your heart. And with that simple joy at heart, I drive her car with pride and belonging knowing that this might not be the best of cars, not the fastest, stylish or splashiest of its kind; but it was still; hers and hers alone and it'll always be mine at heart.

It ain’t a super car, it was not even a proper car, but it was everything that I wanted, it was small, it was sweet and it was the closest to my heart. There are things in life which you don’t realize the value off and then, there are some which become so close to your heart the moment you know who it’s from. This car became so special to me; it was my grandmothers.


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